How to make the case for climate solutions: Ontarians’ views on carbon pricing and cap and trade

Source: Climate Action Network Canada

Author(s): Louise Comeau

Year: 2015


We surveyed 857 Ontarians in September 2015 to explore thoughts about carbon pricing and Emissions Trading (cap and trade) policies and 12 frames/narratives. Each narrative (six on carbon pricing; six on cap and trade) expressed a different ‘idea’, or cognitive frame, developed by George Marshall at the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN).These ideas covered frames such as “polluter pay”, “common sense”, “hidden costs”, “we’re all in it together”, “security”, “balance”, “the cap is a limit”, and “where does the money go?”….

Survey results offer reasons for optimism regarding the capacity to increase support for carbon pricing and cap and trade using particular frames and narratives. Understanding how concerned target audiences are about climate change is a critical guide to understanding which frames and narratives will be most effective. Results also, however, suggest caution. Ontarians are ambivalent about the effectiveness of carbon pricing and cap and trade policies and believe implementing these policies will increase their cost of living. At the same time, Ontarians appear willing to consider these approaches because they will benefit the environment, make polluters pay, and because it is the right thing to do for our grandchildren.

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